USA Swimming Launches Million-Dollar Grant To Grow Aquatics Programs at HBCUs

by SwimSwam 7

December 15th, 2021 Industry, National, News

Courtesy: USA Swimming

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Swimming, the national governing body for the sport of swimming in the United States, today announced a grant program focused on creating a new 10-year, $1 million initiative to develop learn-to-swim and competitive opportunities in communities served by Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Whether the HBCU institutions are looking to offer, or are already offering swim lessons, developing club teams or have existing programming, the grant program offers an opportunity to utilize campus-based aquatic facilities, faculty, students, staff, and partner with existing USA Swimming teams to develop/enhance and deliver local aquatics-based programing in their respective communities. Under this initiative, USA Swimming has committed to provide up to $100,000 annually to support swimming programming at HBCUs over the next ten-years, for a total commitment of up to $1 million.

“HBCUs are vital in producing future community and national leaders,” said Joel Shinofield, Managing Director for Sport Development at USA Swimming. “They have a rich history in swimming, and we hope to tap into that past aquatic success and current leadership development to revitalize aquatic programming in communities across the country.  As HBCUs look to increase enrollment and student engagement, we know that campus swimming programs can play an important role in both and look forward to partnering to support these opportunities.”

Furthering its commitment to making a difference in the community, USA Swimming and the USA Swimming Foundation announced a new Community Impact Grant program earlier this year with the hope to not only grow the pipeline of potential athletes in swimming, but to also create more learn-to-swim and competitive opportunities to better include populations that might not otherwise have regular access to the sport.

USA Swimming, in conjunction with this year’s Cricket Celebration Bowl, will host an informational panel about this opportunity to build, develop and grow aquatics program at HBCUs. The event will take place on Friday, December 17 at 10:00 a.m. ET at the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Panelists for this discussion will include Olympic silver medalist and the first Black woman to make the U.S. Olympic Team in swimming, Maritza McClendon, Shinofield, Program Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for USA Swimming Leland Brown III, Norfolk State University Assistant Professor Dr. Shaun Anderson and Executive Director of Diversity in Aquatics Dr. Miriam Lynch.

While HBCU grant applications will open in February 2022, athletic directors, administrators and Celebration Bowl attendees are invited to ask questions and learn more about this grant program and how it can be utilized on their campuses. Those unable to attend in person can register and attend the live Zoom broadcast of the panel at–rrz4iGdHj8UGX2LSAf1yyaP2LAnuJ.

For more information about this and other USA Swimming grant programs, please contact Leland Brown.

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1 year ago

The intent and spirit of this initiative is admirable; but if I was running a program in the same geographic region of these schools I wouldn’t love the idea of my own swimmers USA swimming dues subsidizing my competition. It rubbed be the wrong way when USA Swimming had the center of excellence in North Carolina too.

1 year ago

Kudos to USA Swimming for this initiative

Reply to  Breezeway
1 year ago

Agreed. Great to see

1 year ago

i have no problems with this. But there are a lot of other schools dropping programs and opportunities. Would love to see them address this also. They seem to be silent or without a plan for overall college swimming which is what many (most) of their paying membership aspire to.

Reply to  Meeeeee
1 year ago

Is that NCAA problem or a USA Swimming problem. Seems the schools and NCAA needs to address program losses

Reply to  Breezeway
1 year ago

Of course it starts with the NCAA. So do HBUC’s. What’s the point?

Reply to  Breezeway
1 year ago

It’s about being a louder advocate, providing support for a cause. They are the NGB, the “authority” in this country on competitive swimming and those responsible for the USNT.

100% it’s an NCAA problem, but the NGB should be taking a more active role. If they are very active, let’s see it more publicly.